MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported 71 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, pushing the region past the 10,000 case landmark.

There have now been a total of 10,063 cases, with 8,981 resolved leaving 885 active cases, which has continued to decrease in recent days.

One new death was also reported, a woman in her 60s not associated with a long-term care or retirement home, bringing the total number of deaths to 197.

Meanwhile the number of variant cases also rose, to a total of 1,568 cases, with the vast majority being the B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the U.K. Another 256 cases are mutation positive.

The most recently reported weekly percent positivity in the region (for the week ending April 17) was 7.1 percent, compared to 9.3 percent for the province for the same period.

Speaking during a brief Monday, MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said declining test numbers are part of the reason for the declining case numbers.

"If you look at percentage positivity, it's really not coming down to the same degree of testing. In fact, provincially percent positivity is going up."

As of end of day Monday, the region has administered more than 150,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are active outbreaks at five area schools, two child-care centres and seven Western University residences, although very few additional cases have been reported in recent days.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) has 95 inpatients positive for COVID-19, with 38 in intensive care. Seven staff are also COVID-19 positive.

Speaking during a virtual briefing on Monday, LHSC Executive Vice-President, Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer Carol Young-Ritchie, said they are expecting more out-of-town patients.

"Generally we count on expecting between two and six patients every day and we will continue to do that likely over the next week. We're continuing to look at our ICU capacity and making sure we're ready for those patients."

Young-Ritchie added that they continue to care for "consistently high" numbers of patients from within the region.

Here are the most recently available numbers from other local public health authorities:

  • Elgin-Oxford – 20 new, 150 active, 3,360 total, 3,134 resolved, 76 deaths, 367 variants
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – five new, 291 active, 2,212 total, 1,875 resolved, 41 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – none new, 27 active, 1,557 total, 1,478 resolved, 52 deaths, 75 variants
  • Sarnia-Lambton – seven new, 69 active, 3,198 total, 3,073 resolved, 56 deaths, 343 variants
  • Grey-Bruce – five new, 94 active, 1,170 total, 1,071 resolved, five deaths, 235 variants

Across Ontario, 3,265 new infections were reported Tuesday, but percent positivity remains high at 10.2 per cent.